Reasons + Menu

Ever since I have returned to work from maternity leave, I have rarely made it to the gym during the week. I went from going religiously at 5 a.m. to making it once or twice during the week. Afternoons do not work well for my family, so the morning time is my go-to and 5 a.m. is it. I talked about how I need to just wake up and do a workout at home rather than do nothing…that has not happened. I have a million reasons to be lazy and I am using them.

I told Josh that I just need to wake up and go to the gym at 4:30 a.m. instead of doing nothing. I know I won’t work out in the playroom because there is too much chance that I will wake up Scarlett and honestly, working out quietly just won’t feel very productive. I know I could do slow quiet workouts, but knowing that I have to be extra quiet and careful is enough to make me say forget it and keep sleeping. I have gotten lazy and I know it. Working out is just not on the top of my do-to list anymore. I want it to be, it just doesn’t seem to fit in perfectly for me, but that is just how life is.

There is never going to be an ideal situation that allows you to get to your end goal. I want to be in shape like I was and I am working towards that, it just is not going as fast as I would like. I do not go back to bed if Thomas wakes up before my time to go to the gym. If he wakes up around 4 a.m. then I stay awake and go to the gym. If he does not wake up, then I attempt to make it in the afternoon, but the afternoons are tough. Thomas pretty much just wants to nurse all afternoon until it is time to go to bed, supper, bath time, etc. (life) just does not flow smoothly. On the weekends I make sure to do a long workout, so that makes me feel a little bit better about my effort.

Now at 5 months old, he is starting to get into a more consistent sleeping pattern (knock on wood). This pattern is not ideal, trust me I do not want to go to the gym at 4:30 a.m. to workout alone, but it might be my only option. Getting home from the gym right when Thomas wakes up to feed, finish getting Anderson ready for school, tend to Scarlett when she wakes up hangry, and get myself ready in under one hour would make for the most stressful start to the day…and I would more than likely be late every single day.

So often when I am talking to someone about their macros and how things are progressing they bring up all of the obstacles that keep them from accurately tracking. All of the obstacles that keep you from doing what you need to in order to make it to your end goal are part of life. Thomas not sleeping is just part of life. Being busy every afternoon is just part of life. I could choose to wake up and quietly workout at home, but I am not. I could choose to go earlier to the gym, but I am not. I have this complex in my head that it is all or nothing. I want to break a sweat and put in some real work to feel like I am accomplishing something. I think it is just my competitive side; however, I can’t complain about not being back in shape when I am not putting in the work that needs to be done. I am acknowledging that I am the reason for my lack of progress, but I have to put in the effort and take action in order to see any results. Complaining does not equal results.


M E N U

Roasted Cauliflower Bolognese

Slow Cooker Herbed Chicken + Rice Pilaf

Spaghetti

Stir Fry 

Bourbon Burgers + Sweet Potato Fries


Roasted Cauliflower Bolognese

This dish looks amazing. I am going to add chicken breast to mine, but not much since I am using carbanada. Carbanada pasta is a great option when you want to get in more protein while eating delicious pasta.

When I cook the chicken I am going to keep it separate from the whole dish so I know what my macros are exactly. You could cook this as a sheet pan with the cauliflower and then mix it together with the pasta, but then you would not get the most accurate macros.

I am going to keep the pasta, chicken, sauce, and cauliflower all separate. I am making my own pesto with two containers of basil, lemon juice, water, garlic, reduced fat parmesan, and salt. I only used about 30 grams of parmesan, that is all I will need to track in the pesto. The tomato paste has a good bit of carbs, so I need to keep it balanced.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Ingredients:
1 large head cauliflower, finely chopped (about 5 cups chopped)
3 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
*spray olive oil
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
1 pinch each kosher salt and black pepper
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
2 teaspoons fish sauce or soy sauce (optional)
*soy sauce
2 shallots, chopped
1 Fresno chile pepper, seeded and sliced
1/2 cup tomato paste
*120 grams
3/4 cup basil pesto, homemade or store-bought
*basil, garlic, lemon juice, water, 30 grams reduced fat parmesan
1 pound pasta, any cut
*carbanada
3 tablespoons salted butter
*2 tablespoons for 4 servings
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
*reduced fat parmesan
1/4 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped

Slow Cooker Herbed Chicken + Rice Pilaf

This is a great easy recipe. I love anything I can throw into the crockpot and just let it cook on its own, especially right now with the kids and I home 24/7. When I cook this I don’t shred the chicken into the dish after it has cooked. I take the chicken out and keep it separate from the rest of the dish. This makes it much easier to count my macros. I weigh out the rest of the food from the crockpot and divide it into 4 containers equally. A lot of crockpot meals I encounter with carrots end up being sweet, but this one is not.

Without the chicken accounted for, the macros for 4 servings the last time I cooked it was 174 calories, 5.8 grams of protein, 31.7 grams of carbohydrates, and 2.5 grams of fat. Make sure to put the chicken on top of the rice mixture, so you can easily take it out and add it into the bowl depending on your macro needs. The recipe calls for you to sear the chicken but if you are in a hurry you can skip that step. It still tastes great.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Ingredients: 
1 1/2 cups wild rice
*3/4 to 1 cup
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
*2 cups 
juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 carrot, cut into 1 inch pieces
*17 ounces whole baby carrots
1 cup wild mushrooms, torn
*272 grams 
2 pounds bone-in chicken breast and or thighs
*boneless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
*spray olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon fresh chopped sage
kosher salt and pepper
4 shallots, halved
1 sprig fresh rosemary 

Spaghetti

The spaghetti sauce I use is adapted from a bolognese lasagna sauce. It is a thicker sauce, with lots of meat and vegetables.

To make the sauce, dice the onion and bell pepper, and saute’ with the minced garlic until soft. Add the mushrooms to the pan (mushrooms are not in the lasagna). Once the mushrooms have cooked down, drain any excess water. Add the vegetables to a large pot, along with the canned tomatoes. Once the meat has cooked thoroughly, drain and add to the tomatoes and vegetables.

Stir in the milk and wine, if you are going to put those in. Let the spaghetti simmer on low. Add the tomato paste to thicken the sauce if needed. The amount of tomato paste you add depends on how thick you want your sauce to be. I use to add the whole milk and wine but have recently opted out of putting it in, to simply cut down on the calories. Save the wine and just drink it. It is delicious with or without the wine and milk.

I like to add dried oregano, thyme, salt, pepper, parsley, and any other Italian herbs I have on hand. I don’t use noodles anymore with my spaghetti. If you still want noodles, Carba-nada is a great low-carbohydrate noodle option!

Once I tried spaghetti squash I never went back. It really is not that difficult to make. I cut my squash lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, spray with olive oil and bake in the oven on 425 degrees until I can stick a skewer all the way through the squash to the outside (not through the outside). I allow the squash to cool and then use a fork to scrape noddle-like strands out of the squash. 1 cup of cooked spaghetti squash is 42 calories, 10 grams of carbohydrates, and 0.5 grams of fat.

Ingredients:  
4 cans Fire Roasted Tomatoes 
1 can Tomato Paste (about 1 cup)
3 cloves Garlic
1 Yellow Bell Pepper (diced)
1 Onion (diced)
8 ounces Mushrooms (diced) 
2-4 pounds 80/20 cooked and drained (depending on amount of people serving, I use 3.5 pounds typically and always have leftovers for the kids)
8 ounces Whole Milk (optional)
4 ounces Red Wine (optional)
Italian Herbs 
2-3 spaghetti squash or noodles of your choice

Stir Fry 

We are making our own stir fry this week with pasta zero noodles. Trust me when I say you are going to want to rinse these thoroughly or they will smell funky. You can heat them up in the microwave, but I like to cook them on the stovetop.

We are going to keep it very basic with broccoli and onion. For the protein, we are going to use chicken breast tenders and season them with Tiger Sauce. I love this sauce, we started using it a few weeks ago on some random cuts of grilled chicken and it was a hit. 

A meal like this is ideal for those that are just starting out tracking. You can keep all of your ingredients separate and it isn’t your boring typical meal-prep food. I am going to saute’ the broccoli, onion, and peppers. Before we grill the chicken we will throw the zucchini on to cook. 

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Ingredients: 
Chicken breast   
3 heads broccoli 
1 onion 
salt 
pepper 
garlic
40-50 grams soy sauce
10 grams sesame oil
tiger sauce 
red pepper flakes
zero calorie olive oil spray 

Bourbon Burgers + Sweet Potato Fries

B E S T burgers I have ever had are from Liam’s in Thomasville and from the Pool Hall in Moultrie. These are some stacked juicy hamburgers. Josh and I have been known to split 3 double cheeseburgers and not pat an eye. I love that he doesn’t judge me for how much food I consume. Usually, we don’t eat cheeseburgers and try to keep it super healthy, but every now and then we will splurge on one from Liam’s or the Pool Hall. 

Josh started adding bourbon to the burgers, because he is a bourbon lover, and he wanted to switch things up. Literally, the best burgers he has ever cooked.

If you don’t smother them in cheese, bacon, and mayonnaise hamburgers can be healthy. When I track my hamburger I weigh out my meat after it has cooked. This is controversial in the world of tracking food, but I think that it makes sense. The fat is going to cook out of the meat, so I don’t actually end up eating all of the fat that was originally in the raw meat.

I am going to add some sweet potato fries with the hamburgers for the kids. I will eat them as a snack later on, but not with this meal. You can always mix a packet of ranch seasoning with non-fat Greek yogurt to dip the sweet potato fries in for a healthy snack.

Hamburgers have your fats, protein, and carbs (if you eat a bun). The only thing I do is eat a second hamburger patty without a bun to get in more protein. Macro-wise there is no reason to add a side dish. I know everyone loves fries with their hamburger but you are doing some major calorie intake if you do that.

*Changes I make to meet my macros

Ingredients
Hamburgers: 
80/20 meat- onion powder, garlic powder, season all, chili powder, 1-2 tablespoons burbon, pepper 
Brioche buns 
Heirloom tomatoes 
Lettuce 
Onion 
Yellow mustard 
Ketchup 
Pickles 

Fries: 
1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
*spray olive oil 
2 tablespoons cornstarch
*omit
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
fine sea salt, to taste

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